This Will be Short

Yesterday we had a Nor’Easter. It was coming down like crazy and it was wet snow. Needless to say, much of the state is now without power. We are without power … but we have a generator so we are not totally in the dark.

But I wanted to write to share that I’ve finished my test knit, named for now, the Cashmere People Shawl because it’s knit with Cashmere People yarn. This shawl is designed by Lori Versaci of VERSACIKNITS. As with Lori’s other designs, it’s a classic design and a textural wonderland. Such a fun project to knit.

I started this shawl project just as I was going into self-isolation in mid-March. The shawl calls for three colors of cashgora yarn in sport weight. I really wanted to have my shawl look and feel like a comfy pair of jeans. Casey Rider at Portfiber in Portland, Maine picked the three colors for me and she did an excellent job! I love the way the colors work together and I can’t wait until it’s dry and I can wear it!

I had a tense few moments at the end because I was very afraid I’d run out of the natural color of yarn at the edge. I’m happy to report that I won the game of yarn chicken this time! Woo! Hoo!

This afternoon I wove in the ends and blocked my shawl and I’m so happy to have it done. When the pattern is released, I’ll let you know.

Gone knitting!

Thursday Update

Yesterday

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day and today is not. It’s overcast and gray and the wind is blowing off the lake which makes it cold. I’ve spent the better part of the day in my studio working on several projects.

First job was to call and email and text my class to announce, officially, that all of our classes have been cancelled until at least the end of the month. That’s twelve days at the least. And I’m thinking it’s going to be months instead of weeks. I sure hope I’m wrong! I have the most wonderful group of students. I know I’ve written about them before, but I mean it sincerely. I am really going to miss our Friday gathering.

I am working on a couple of projects … I was supposed to be finishing UFOs but I have cast on a couple of new “corona virus” projects. One is t a MKAL (mystery knit along) that we’re doing at Yardgoods Center. Clues are posted every morning at 8 to our facebook page.

Clue 1: Worsted weight bits and bobs of yarn. US 10 needles. Cast on 225 stitches

Clue 2: Knit 4 rows of garter stitch

Mine is cast on and knitted. That was my second order of business today.

Part 2 in process

Next I finished the second day of Arne and Carlos’s Quarantine KAL. While we don’t really know what we’re knitting, the small squares in Fair Isle is comforting and really makes my mind focus on the yarn and stitches that my hands are making. It’s a wonderful way to get lost in the process and it’s so comforting. I started off being behind and I’m still behind – as part 4 is being released today and I just finished part 2. Oh well. It’s all good, right?

I”m moving ahead with my test knit for Lori Versaci of Versaciknits. I am really loving the Cashmere People yarns that I am working for. Casey at Portfiber picked the perfect colors to make it feel like a comfy pair of jeans which was exactly what I was thinking for the feeling of this piece. This afternoon I will finish the second stockinette section and start on the next part. It’s not a difficult knit but it does mean that I have to be awake enough to count. I hope to make some good progress this afternoon and I will show you pictures when I get permission to do so. I love Lori’s designs. They’re classic, tailored and they’re brilliantly put together. I’m wearing the sweater that I test knit for her today … I’m going all in with comfy these days!

So, there you go. What we’re up to today. Day four, really, but also day six … it depends on when you started counting. I’ve mostly been in the house since Friday evening, 3/20/2020. While it’s still not “normal” it is feeling a bit less bizarre. We are settling in.

Gone knitting!

You can follow my knitting projects on Ravelry, “lindar”; on Facebook, QueenBeeKnits by Linda Warner and Instagram @QueenBeeKnits.

Blue BeeHive Mind

My husband and I have decided to self-isolate here at our home in Maine. The main reason is that I have a chronic cough/allergies/possible asthma and I’m apparently a senior citizen. At least my kids tell me that I am. Regardless, we feel that for my protection that this is the best option for us at this time.

So, today is day three for me and day one for him. We went for a ride to the dump … Wednesday is dump day and we had a mattress, an old mattress, to get rid of because our new one arrived yesterday. We also needed to get some provisions for the next few days or weeks. The fewer the trips out, the less likely the virus is to spread, right? Needless to say, I’m not going to work this week and I doubt that I’ll return unless and until I feel safe. Sadly, because the testing began so late – and we still don’t have a lot of tests here in Maine – we don’t have any idea how many people are infected.

I hope that I will settle into some sense of calm and normal but this has me a little bit freaked out. I’m not in a panic, it’s just frightening to not know what to expect. I know it will all end and we are so lucky to have a home to stay warm in, food to eat and hobbies that we enjoy that keep us entertained. I am concerned about all the kids out of school who suffer from food insecurity. Families who live paycheck to paycheck and can’t afford NOT to work. God bless the people in the grocery industry, the heathcare industry and the first responders. They’re in a tough position.

Here in Maine, the schools are helping with childcare for healthcare workers, I’m told and they’re also delivering breakfast and lunch to several places around our school district for the kiddos and their families who may not be able to afford food under these circumstances. I’m delighted to hear this and I always knew Mainers were special!

As I sit here writing, I want you all to know that I am knitting a little as my focus allows. I am trying to stay away from Facebook especially because it’s way too unnerving to read – everything is focused around the Corona Virus pandemic, politics and general nastiness. As an empathic person, this bothers me on a visceral level. Behind the scenes, I’m helping our store to host a shawl KAL – our first! We are posting clues each morning through April 8th at 8am. Clue 1 is on the Yardgoodsyarns Facebook page. Worsted Weight yarn. 32 inch US 10 circular needle. Cast on 225 stitches. Collect a bunch of worsted weight yarns … this is a stash buster!!! Clue 2 will be posted tomorrow, 3/19/2020 at 8am. I’ve heard people saying they don’t want to knit a shawl … don’t fret! The KAL goes until 4/8 but we can always make it a little bit longer so that It’s a lab blanket! Once you see where it goes, you can decide. Or if you’re not going to wear a shawl, consider donating it to a local nursing home, hospital or homeless shelter!

Good can come out of this difficult time if we look to make it a positive experience. In Italy their singing. In rural Maine, we’re knitting. More to come!

Gone knitting.

Oatmeal!

All of my life I’ve been unable to eat oatmeal or any hot cereal or semblance thereof. It’s a texture thing.

My Baked Oatmeal

On the other hand, I really want to love oatmeal because I know it’s healthy and I love the idea that you can have something hot for breakfast that is relatively simple to make.

While deeply lost in Pinterest a couple of weeks ago, I found a baked oatmeal recipe. It had all the yummy things I like to eat: blueberries, apple, nuts, cinnamon and maple syrup. And oatmeal. so I decided to try it and see. If I didn’t like it, my dear husband would eat it, right?

You can find the recipe here:

https://thefoodiephysician.com/dining-with-doc-blueberry-apple-walnut/

Yum! I can report that I love it! The recipe says it makes 12 servings so I cut the cooled oatmeal and freeze 12 portions. In the morning I can microwave it in less than two minutes. I pour in a little almond milk and honey or maple syrup and I’m good to go. I’m such a happy camper!

Gone knitting.

Snowy Day Snow Day

I got an extra day off today due to snow. Our first “significant” snow storm. We had “run” home from Massachusetts after Thanksgiving to avoid the storm and we were waiting for it! It’s been a beautiful day at home in my studio finishing projects.

Avatar Aang Hat

I was approached by an acquaintance to knit an Avatar Aang hat for her step-daughter to commemorate her strength and tenacity Over the last year. I took on the order prior to thinking it out and with no pattern. It turned out to be quite a challenge to knit a hat with a blue arrow from back to front continuously but I think I managed it pretty well, if I do say so.

I’ll write up the pattern eventually but suffice it to say that I knit the had flat and used the intarsia technique to manage the arrow. I “split” the arrow on the back of the hat with half being on either side of the seam. I then seamed the back of the hat, Kitchener stitches the top closed and then gathered the white stitches on each side of the arrow. It worked very well.

I had finished the knitting of a sweater in the car on the way down to celebrate Thanksgiving and started to embroider one of the front sides. Today I finished that, too! It’s been soaked and blocked.

I am looking forward to wearing it in a couple of days!

I’ve enjoyed my simple embroidery on my knitted accessories and this is the first garment that I’ve embroidered. I have a long way to go until I’m totally satisfied but I like it pretty well.

Neither the colors nor the embroidery are showing up well. I’ll add more pictures on a brighter day.

I just found some sweet visitor footprints on our front porch. I really love a good snow day!

Gone knitting!

More details about these projects can be found on my Ravelry projects page. I’m Lindar on Ravelry.

Follow me on Facebook at Queen Bee Knits by LindaWarner and on Instagram, @QueenBeeKnits.

November is for Gratitude

Grateful for This View

We are coming up on the anniversary of moving into our house here in Maine. It’ll be 4 years that we have lived here and I didn’t want the anniversary to pass without marking the day with a grateful heart. We are so fortunate to love here and we never take it for granted.

Gray Day

I’m working away on my knitting and I am making slow but sure progress. Knitting is such a wonderful “activity” and as the winter gets closer and closer, I’m happy to have several projects on the needles and several more in my knotting pipeline.

Ma Belle Amie Cowl

I’m knitting my second Ma Belle Amie cowl and this one has a distinct Christmas color combination. I’m knitting with Jojoland’s Baritone, a DK weight squishy superwash wool. I have chosen the exact same colors one of my Friday knitters made. She has a good eye for color and I thought this would prove to be a good project for when I don’t want to count. Or pay attention. I have modified the pattern a bit for this project and I’ll put the details in my project page on Ravelry.

Pumpkins and Acorns

We’ve had a ton of acorns in our yard this fall. I love them. When Hunter Hammersen showed knitted acorns I immediately ordered the pattern and went out to collect some acorn caps. I’ve knitted a few and have plans to knit more. I just need to set them aside for now to get a couple of orders done. The pumpkins are replacements for my daughter whose puppy chewed hers. Naughty dog! *wink.

I’m finished with the body of my v-neck cardigan. I continue to work on my Stephen West Starflake KAL and despite being frightfully far behind, I’m enjoying the process. In waist deep in the two-color Brioche section. Last night I made my first mistake and had to rip back a few rows because I missed two rows which meant that I was knitting on the wrong side. Frustrating but fixed now.

Rainbow Socks

I’m working on rainbow socks for my French grandson. At his request. There’s nothing better than having someone you love request a knitted item that is desired. I can’t wait to see his face when they arrive. Of course, I can’t send to one without the other so a pair of rosey pink socks will follow for little sister.

New Yarn and Fabric Storage

I have several more projects in my pipeline. A few of which are sitting out on my new cabinets in my studio. I’ve put some of my yarn up on the shelf on the left with lavender sachets. Books and reference materials will love in the shelf to the right. My carpenter is working on the drawers and doors for the cabinets on the bottom. I hope it’ll be done soon. I am eager to get back to some semblance of order. I can’t even find my ironing board behind the sewing projects. I’m grateful to have these new cabinets!

The mess that needs to be put away!

Since we have passed the point of no return, it’s now getting dark before 4pm. I like waking up with some light but I don’t like going home from work in the dark. Hello, winter!

Gone knitting.

More details can be found on my Ravelry project page. I’m “lindar” on Ravelry. Find Queen Bee Knits on Instagram @queenbeeknits and on Facebook Queen Bee Knits by Linda Warner.

40

So, as of tonight I have finished 40 projects so far this year. I had a goal of 50 … I’m thinking that I may not finish another ten projects but I’ll give it a good old college try!

A page from my bullet journal

I finished my husband’s sweater in time for him to wear it at our family weekend in New Hampshire last weekend. He’s worn it enough to lose one of the three buttons. I love the deep green color. It’s a Knitting Pure and Simple pattern knit in Ella Rae Classic Wool.

I also finished his birthday socks. He was so sweet to gift this yarn to me in my Christmas stocking last year. With the intent that I would knit him socks with it. The yarn was a bear to knit with. Quite stiff and a bit heavier than the Worsted that I typically use for socks. My hands were tired after knitting these socks.

I’ve already cast on three more projects and I have a long list of others to be completed. Including three orders for crocheted items. Maybe I’ll get them done before the end of the year. Sadly, not many of my projects are small.

Tonight I was working on my Christmas La Belle Amie cowl. I’m knitting with Jojoland Baritone and I love the hand of this superwash wool. It’s super squishy. These two greens, a creamy ivory and a red will make this a good piece for between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I also finished a pair of fingerless mitts that I have subsequently sold. I taught a class of wonderful women at our adult education program. The class was embroidered mittens. I didn’t want to make mittens and “shortened” mine to mitts. I was very happy with the outcome.

I’ve got to close because tomorrow is my Saturday to work and I have to get some beauty sleep! I’m feeling fairly accomplished at finishing!

Gone knitting!

Details of all of these projects can be found on my Ravelry project page. I’m lindar on Ravelry. Find Queen Bee Knits by Linda Warner on Facebook and QueenBeeKnits on Instagram, too.

Strong Women

I am privileged to work with strong women. Special women. Loving women. Talented women.

I’ve worked with a lot of women during my various careers and they’ve all taught me a little bit more about who I want to be. This group of women with whom I work now, in the fiber arts, is no exception.

Lallybroch

I’ve finished something! One WIP finished, a million to go!

Ruffle and Spine of Lallybroch in Malabrigo Arroyo

Lallybroch Shawl is a satisfying knit that doesn’t use up too much head space because the majority of the shawl is garter stitch! One needs to be cognizant of the spine (I marked mine with stitch markers) but otherwise, the only thing you’d need to worry about is the “right” and “wrong” side.

I fretted, as I’ve said before, about my yarn choice. I have a customer who has knitted this shawl in Malabrigo Rios. I really don’t like to wear shawls made in a worsted weight yarn … even if it’s a light worsted weight. It’s just too warm to wear inside! So, I chose a yarn in Malabrigo Arroyo, the sport weight little brother (or sister?) of Rios. I’m really glad that I did.

66 Lavanda

I love the Lavanda colorway, it’s a rustic purple to gray to brown that I thought would be a good match for this shawl. Since the design is based on the Outlander show I didn’t want to use a more modern colorful colorway.(If you haven’t seen Outlander, you really and truly should watch it on the Stars network, it’s absolutely amazing!) I bought three hanks of the yarn and used almost all of it. I did knit beyond the stitch count in the pattern. I knitted the body of the shawl with two hanks and then started the third with the middle and ruffle sections. It worked out well. No major yarn chicken here! (This time!)

My shawl is blocking now and I will look forward to wearing it to work this week.

Ends woven in, blocking … on my guest room bed!

You can read more about my Lallybroch Shawl on my Raverly project page. I’m Lindar on Ravelry. Follow me on at Queen Bee Knits by Linda Warner Facebook and Instagram @QueenBeeKnits.

Polar Vortex and the Very Good Day

After the Snow

We started the day with some really good snow, well, actually, it started last night and continued into the day today. I love the snow! By late morning we (the “royal” we. Ok, my husband) were cleaning up.

Before … the floor was littered with WIPs and project bags. Now the floor is clear and the shelves are cleaned up (again.) I also cleaned out a bag of acrylic yarn that I bought when I lived in Florida and wanted to learn to crochet!

I spent the majority of the day in my atelier cleaning up my messes and organizing my WIPs. I have unified most of the tiny and not-so-tiny balls of leftover sock yarn that I am crocheting into a blanket. I still have a basket full of fingering leftovers that aren’t yet into ball form. (It may take a lifetime to finish but that’s ok.) My shelves are more organized and the floor is clear!

We started the day with really yummy Amish Cinnamon Bread muffins and my little dogs loved having me home all day. Don’t tell them that I loved being at home with them, too!

I’m nearly done knitting my Lallybroch Shawl. My Canvas Cardigan hasn’t been out of its project bag today, nor has my Passerine Hat. Tomorrow’s another day … and I’ll be at the yarn shop!

Gone knitting! (Not really, I’m going to bed.)